Approximately 100 young persons from the parishes of St. Mary and St. Ann have completed a six-day course in disaster management, under the Government’s Emergency Response Initiative.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague (right), presents a certificate to Antoinette Naultie, participant in a disaster management course. The ceremony was held at the Anglican Church Hall in Port Maria, St. Mary, on July 16.
They were presented with certificates at a function, held at the Anglican Church Hall, in Port Maria, St. Mary, on July 16.
In his address at the ceremony, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, reminded the participants that the training they have received, has prepared them to respond to disasters in their communities.
He encouraged them to develop disaster plans for their households, their neighbours and their communities, and to keep in touch with their Parish Disaster Committee.
“We want you to be that point of information in case there is any incident, whether it is a fire, flood, drought or hurricane. You should be the eyes and ears of the disaster committee in your parish, in your community,” he added.
Speaking to JIS News, participant Yanique Henry, sixth form student at St. Mary High School, said she was pleased with the training she had received. She said she looked forward to passing on the knowledge to others.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, addresses participants who completed a six-day course in disaster management, at the Anglican Church Hall in Port Maria, St. Mary, on July 16.
Christopher Cox and Javaugh Taylor, students of Annotto Bay High School, said the training programme was good for the young people, and that it would help them and others to be prepared for the challenges of a disaster.
The participants, aged 15 to 25 years, were selected from institutions, such as secondary schools, Jamaica Cadet Corps and the National Youth Service. The participants received training in incident command, first aid, basic disaster management, search and rescue and damage assessment. They will form part of a specialised corps, dubbed the Preparedness and Emergency Response Corps (PERC).
PERC is one element of the training component of the government’s Emergency Response Initiative, launched by Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding in May 2009. It aims to enhance Jamaica’s preparation and response capacity in disaster management.
Funding for the initiative was provided under the Emergency Recovery Project being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), with funding from the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank.
More than 900 persons are expected to be trained in disaster management, infrastructure maintenance and disaster first response, under the initiative.
So far, training has been provided for young persons in the parishes of St. Thomas, Portland, Hanover, St. Catherine, Kingston and Andrew, St. James and Westmoreland.
Also attending the function were Mayor of Port Maria, Councillor Richard Creary and Regional Co-ordinator for the Northern Region of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Allison Gordon.